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Right or wrong?: A world without Down's Syndrome
What does 99% accurate test mean for Down’s Syndrome?
Last night on BBC2, British actress Sally Phillips examined the ethics and potential impact of a new non-invasive test for Down’s Syndrome during pregnancy.
The documentary, ‘A World Without Down’s Syndrome’, was prompted by the introduction of the NIPT pregnancy screening test, which can detect Down’s Syndrome in pregnancies with a 99% level of accuracy, and the prospect that it may become available on the NHS in future.
The documentary explored what widespread availability of the test could mean, and asked, “What sort of world do we want to live in, and who do we want in it?” With 9 out 10 British women currently terminating pregnancies after a positive diagnosis of Down’s Syndrome, according to the BBC, the likelihood that very few babies with Down’s Syndrome could be born in future has been raised.
Phillips, whose acting credits include the Bridget Jones films and TV comedies such as Smack the Pony, has a son with Down’s Syndrome, and so for her this exploration of the ethics of pregnancy screenings was a personal one.
Did you see the documentary? What do you think about the issues raised? Is wider availability of pregnancy screening tests such as NIPT beneficial or detrimental to society? Share your thoughts with the community and join the debate by commenting below.